Cross-Listed Courses

01/14/2016: cross-listings updated for Spring 2016.

Harvard Course Search page.

[Love In A Dead Language: Classical Indian Literature and Its Theorists]
AESTHINT 30
Parimal G. Patil
Likely to be offered in 2017 Spring
Course ID: 123914

Description: An exploration of love in five genres of classical South Asian literature$epic history, story literature, plays, poetic miniatures, and court poetry. We will pay particular attention to the nature of literary genres and practices and how they were theorized by South Asian intellectuals. Especially relevant are theories of poetic language, aestheticized emotion (especially love), and literary ornamentation.

Course Notes: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

 

Ancient Fictions: The Ancient Novel in Context
AESTHINT 33
David Elmer
2015 Fall
Mon/Wed, 11:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 14909  Course ID: 124912

Description: The novel is often thought of as a distinctively modern form, but Greco-Roman antiquity had its own version. Fictional prose narratives about adventure and romance in exotic lands were immensely popular in antiquity. We will explore this tradition by reading the five surviving Greek novels, the Golden Ass of the Roman Apuleius, and selected other texts, along with works by contemporary theorists and critics. Topics include: definitions of the "novel"; ancient representations of desire; gender and class politics; relationships between secular and religious narratives.

Course Notes: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

 

 

Buddhism and Japanese Culture
AESTHINT 36
Ryuichi Abe
2016 Spring
Tues/Thurs, 02:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 13207  Course ID: 123913

Description: This course is designed to enable students to analyze a wide range of Japanese cultural creations_including the traditional Noh theater, modern Japanese paintings, and contemporary anime_by illustrating the influence of Buddhism both on their forms and at their depths. The first part of the course is a study of major Buddhist philosophy and its impact on Japanese literature. The second part observes Buddhist ritual practices and their significance for Japanese performing arts. The last part traces the development of Japanese Buddhist art, and considers the influence of Buddhism on diverse contemporary popular Japanese art media.

 

Afro-Latin America: History and Culture
AFRAMER 124Y
Alejandro de la Fuente, Doris Sommer
2016 Spring
Tuesday, 01:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 14785  Course ID: 159570

Description: This course explores how African cultural expressions influenced colonial societies and later national cultures in Latin America. How did peoples of African descent shape the formation of Latin American national cultures in areas such as literature, religion, visual arts, music, dance, and cinema? Some scholars have debated whether African religious, musical, medical and communitarian practices were reproduced in the New World or whether they were creolized through fusion with other (European and indigenous) practices. Others have sought to explain how African cultural practices (music, religion, dances) that were derided as primitive and uncivilized in the early twentieth century became "nationalized" and transformed into key expressions of national cultures in many Latin American countries. What are the implications of this process for those cultural forms and their practitioners? How do they impact, if at all, other areas of social life?  We explore these questions through historical and literary texts, films, visual arts, and recordings.

 

 [African Religions]
AFRAMER 187
Jacob Olupona
Likely to be offered in 2016 Fall
Course ID: 123438

Description: This course is a basic introduction to the history and phenomenology of traditional religions of the African peoples. Using diverse methodological and theoretical approaches, the course will explore various forms of experiences and practices that provide a deep understanding and appreciation of the sacred meaning of African existence: myth, ritual arts, and symbols selected from West, East, Central, and Southern Africa.

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3690.

 

[Introduction to Mesopotamian Religion]
ANE 102
Piotr Steinkeller
Likely to be offered in 2018 Spring
Course ID: 114298

Description: A survey of the history and major concerns of ancient Mesopotamian religion from prehistoric times down to the reign of Alexander the Great. Among the topics treated are the key figures of the Sumero-Babylonian pantheon, the major mythological compositions (read in translation), personal religion, cosmogonies and theogonies, magic and divination, Mesopotamian temples, and cult and ritual. The course makes rich use of ancient iconography.

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3661.

 

[Maya Narratives: Gods, Lords, and Courts]
ANTHRO 1158
Likely to be offered in 2016 Fall
Course ID: 128062

Description: This course explores the continuing investigation of Classic Maya texts and images, and how new decipherments have changed our understanding of the ancient Maya world. The Classic Maya are the only Pre-Columbian civilization with a substantial corpus of inscriptions produced well before any contact with the Old World. Maya written and visual narratives reveal details of history and myth, life at the courts of lords and nobles, and religion and worldview. Their testimonies are often striking, unique, and hard to understand, but they are not mediated by non-indigenous interpreters and open a window into a world long gone.

 

[Armenian Magical Texts]
ARMEN 120
James Russell
Likely to be offered in 2018 Spring
Course ID: 124288

Description: Armenian magical texts include codices, scrolls, and separately-printed saints' lives used for good or ill, containing magic squares and symbols, the latter mostly deriving from Islamic magic. The course will consider literary sources of magic texts (e.g., the prayer Havatov khostovanim, the meditations of Narek), parallel traditions (esp. Christian Ethiopia), and the consideration of the paintings in Armenian magical manuscripts from the standpoint of the genre of Outsider Art.

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 2200.

 

 

[The Hero of Irish Myth and Saga]
CELTIC 101
Likely to be offered in 2017 Spring
Course ID: 122419

Description: A study of the ways in which the hero is represented in early Irish sources, especially in the saga literature. The texts reflect the ideology and concerns of a society which had been converted to Christianity, but continued to draw on its Indo-European and Celtic heritage. The biographies of the Ulster hero, Cú Chulainn, of his divine father, Lug, and of certain king-heroes are studied in depth. The wisdom literature, and archaeological and historical evidence will be taken into account.

 

The Folklore of Gaelic Ireland
CELTIC 105
Natasha Sumner
2016 Spring
Mon/Wed, 02:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 15731  Course ID: 160495

Description: An introduction to the oral traditions of Gaelic Ireland, including tales and song. The process of collecting is explored, and various folkloristic theories and approaches applied in order to gain a deeper understanding of the material. No knowledge of Irish Gaelic required.

Course Notes: Weekly discussion section to be arranged.

 

[The Folklore of Gaelic Scotland]
CELTIC 106
Natasha Sumner
Likely to be offered in 2017 Spring
Course ID: 127369

Description: An introduction to the oral traditions of Gaelic Scotland and Nova Scotia, including tales and song. The process of collecting is explored, and various folkloristic theories and approaches applied in order to gain a deeper understanding of the material. No knowledge of Scottish Gaelic required.

 

Finn: The Great Gaelic Hero
CELTIC 109
Natasha Sumner
2015 Fall
Mon/Wed, 11:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 15723  Course ID: 127630

Description: This course explores the lengthy and wildly popular Irish and Scottish Gaelic tradition surrounding the hero, Finn mac Cumaill (a.k.a. 'Finn MacCool' or 'Fionn mac Cumhaill'). Finn is variously portrayed as a hunter-warrior-seer and is the leader of the intrepid fíana war band. We survey this Fenian literature as it is presented to us by medieval and early modern Gaelic manuscript tradition. We also engage with the rich modern Fenian folklore of Ireland, Scotland, and Nova Scotia. This includes the study of important texts such as Acallam na Senórach ‘The Dialogue of the Ancients’ and Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne ‘The Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne’. Additionally, we consider the international impact of the Fenian tradition by examining James Macpherson's infamous, eighteenth-century, English-language adaptations and the ensuing Ossian controversy.  All Gaelic texts are read in English translation.

 

[The Gaelic World: 1100 - 1700]
CELTIC 118
Natasha Sumner
Likely to be offered in 2016 Fall
Course ID: 127370

Description: An introduction to the history and culture of Gaelic Scotland and Ireland, with particular attention to contemporary sources, including Gaelic literary sources. All readings in English translation.

 

[Celtic Mythology]
CELTIC 137
Likely to be offered in 2016 Fall
Course ID: 111202

Description: A survey of the sources for the study of Celtic mythology, with special attention to selected texts from early Ireland and Wales. All texts are read in English translation.

 

The Táin
CELTIC 184
Tomas O Cathasaigh
2016 Spring
Mon/Wed/Fri, 01:00pm - 01:59pm
Class Number: 15730  Course ID: 111284

Description: A study of the exuberant Irish prose epic Táin Bó Cúailnge (`Cattle-Raid of Cooley'). Text read in English translation.

Course Notes: The Friday meeting time is occasional.

 

Folklore in the Modern Chinese Cultural Imagination
CHNSLIT 129
Max Bohnenkamp
2015 Fall
Tuesday, 01:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 16774  Course ID: 160438

Description: This seminar course examines the role of folklore and notions of cultural authenticity in the construction of the modern Chinese nation. With the launching of the “Folklore Studies Movement” in the 1910s, Chinese intellectuals discovered new sources for defining their cultural identity in the songs, legends and customs of the countryside. Ever since then, different representations of folk culture have been enlisted to define modern life in China, from the appropriation of folklore to create a new literature and the critical study of Chinese society through the lens of folk narratives and beliefs, to the adaptation of folk culture for disseminating revolutionary politics. We will look at folklore itself, sources on the study of folk culture, and modern works of poetry, fiction, film and music to examine the influence of ideas about cultural authenticity on literature, social science and politics in China over the span of the last century.

 

Images of Greek Myths in Classical Antiquity
CLASARCH 149
Adrian Staehli
2015 Fall
Thursday, 04:00pm - 05:59pm
Class Number: 18104  Course ID: 160357  
Class Capacity: 30  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: This seminar explores the visual "language" of the representation of Greek myths in various media—such as painted vases, sculpture, mosaics, wall paintings, and sarcophagi—from its emergence in Archaic Greece through the Hellenistic and Roman periods to Late Antiquity.

 

Magicians, Healing Gods, and Holy Men
CLS-STDY 113
Gil Renberg
2015 Fall
Mon/Wed, 01:00pm - 01:59pm
Class Number: 16137  Course ID: 160535

Description: This course will examine magic, divination, and other unconventional religious phenomena in the Greco-Roman world by focusing on extraordinary practices and practitioners. The topics to be explored include soliciting curative dreams from the gods; employing protective magic to ward off disease and other dangerous forces; using aggressive forms of magic to ensnare the object of one’s sexual desires or harm one’s opponents; the rise of “holy men” believed to have supernatural powers; and attempting to foresee the future through astrology or various forms of divination. The sources for these phenomena, most of which are strikingly different from those typically encountered when studying the ancient world, provide fresh perspectives.

 

Storytelling and Deceptive Narration at Rome and Beyond
CLS-STDY 141
Brigitte Libby
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 01:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 15793  Course ID: 159812

Description: How do we make others believe us when we stretch the truth? This course is both a survey of ancient Roman literature and an introduction to the classic tools of storytelling and deception that we still encounter today. We will study how ancient authors manipulate our perception of the stories they tell and see how these techniques recur in modern examples. Topics include historical legend, love poetry, the courtroom strategy of Cicero, political propaganda in epic poetry, Aesopic fables, ghost stories, and the account of a man transformed into a donkey. We end with several modern short stories. Readings are in English.

 

The Ancient Greek Hero
CULTBLF 22
Gregory Nagy
2015 Fall
Mon/Wed, 12:00pm - 12:59pm
Class Number: 11966  Course ID: 113501

Description: This course takes a close look at the human condition, as viewed through the lens of classical Greek civilization (and some modern comparanda).The readings, all in English translation, are the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey, seven tragedies (Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy, Sophocles' two Oedipus dramas, and Euripides' Hippolytus and The Bacchic Women), and two dialogues of Plato (the Apology and the Phaedo, both centering on the last days of Socrates); also, selections from the dialogue On Heroes by an eminent thinker in the "second sophistic" movement, Philostratus.

Course Notes: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

 

 

Classical Mythology
CULTBLF 35
Brigitte Libby
2016 Spring
Tues/Thurs, 11:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 14844  Course ID: 126004

Description: Incest and parricide, cannibalism and self-blinding: classical mythology has fascinated artists, writers, and thinkers throughout western civilization, and this course will serve as an introduction to this strange and brilliant world. We will move from the very first works of Greek literature through to the classic Greek tragedies and the Roman tales in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Along the way, we will confront the question of what "mythology" is and how it works, and we will discuss how these traditional stories changed over time to fit different cultural circumstances. We will also consider ancient rationalizations of myth, the relationship of myth and politics, and the reception of classical myth in the modern world.

Course Notes: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

 

Old English: Beowulf and its Contexts
ENGLISH 103G
Joey McMullen
2016 Spring
Tues/Thurs, 11:30am - 12:59pm
Class Number: 14483  Course ID: 130249

Description: We will translate some of the most fascinating sections of Beowulf—from monster-slaying and heroic feats to pagan burials and betrayals—in order to learn what makes it an exceptional poem. We will also combine language study with literary criticism to consider different aspects of Beowulf each week: the artistry of poetic language, the use of Germanic legend, or the sophistication of the meter, for example.

Course Notes: Fulfills the College language requirement and the English Department's Foreign Literature requirement.

Recommended Prep: Honors grade in English 102g or the equivalent.

 

The Art of Storytelling
FRSEMR 32V
Deborah Foster
2016 Spring
Location: Warren House, Room 102
Class Number: 13644  Course ID: 122447

Description: People everywhere tell stories to express both the verities and contradictions found in experiences of everyday life. Based on storytelling traditions, a narrator shapes the story to reflect his or her own intentions, making it personally expressive as well as publicly meaningful to a particular audience. This seminar examines the nature of storytelling, its enduring appeal, and its ability to adapt to multiple technologies (print, film, internet). Participants engage in the storytelling process itself.

 

Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming: H.P. Lovecraft and Mythology
FRSEMR 34D
James Russell
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 16259  Course ID: 160202
Class Capacity: 12  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: H.P. Lovecraft, the American writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, created a cosmology, a mythology,  and an alternative vision of life and reality so compelling that over the years some readers have come to believe that his invented Necronomicon is a real book (in the Widener stacks). Like his predecessor, Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft lived and died without recognition in his own country: American culture then as now valued practicality and social engagement.  What is it, then, that captivates Lovecraftians? The seminar will explore the invention of personal mythologies, languages, and narratives of counter-realities by Lovecraft and other writers (including Poe, C.G. Jung, Ursula Le Guin, Colin Wilson, and Philip K. Dick) as ways of individuation, and of resistance to conformity, through creative imagination.  

 

 

The Folklore of Gaelic Scotland
FRSEMR 34F
Natasha Sumner
2015 Fall
Monday, 02:30pm - 05:29pm
Class Number: 16260  Course ID: 160204
Class Capacity: 12  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: This course explores the ‘treasure house’ of Gaelic folklore recorded in the Highlands of Scotland since the nineteenth century. The international controversy over Macpherson’s 'Ossian' poems in the 1760s prompted interest in the Scottish Gaelic folklore from which they were adapted. Folklorists have since documented a wealth of orally recorded material, including tales of ancient heroes (e.g. Finn McCool) and beliefs in malevolent fairies, seal-people, dangerous water-horses, the evil eye and second sight. As we explore these fascinating topics, we will take into account international scholarly approaches to folklore. 

Course Notes: No knowledge of Scottish Gaelic is required for this course. The seminar will also include 'an end-of-term 'ceilidh", a traditional social gathering often involving song, dance, and/or storytelling.

 

Comparative Historical Mythology
FRSEMR 36S
Michael Witzel
2016 Spring
Class Number: 16522  Course ID: 109498
Class Capacity: 15  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: Deals with an innovative approach to comparative mythology by incorporating an historical approach, not by the commonly assumed archetypes or diffusion. Working backwards from our earliest written sources (Egypt, etc.), successively earlier stages are detected through repeated reconstructions. Recent developments in genetics, archaeology, linguistics support the proposed historical model that tentatively reaches back to the "African Eve." Testing the proposal offers a wide scope for students' participation and research in texts and in the sciences. Open to Freshmen only.

 

Biopolitics and Vampire Aesthetics, 1716-2016
GERMAN 170
Nicole Suetterlin
2016 Spring
Wed, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 15769  Course ID: 156124

Description: This course traces the infamous bloodsucker's bite-marks through major periods of European literature from the 18th century to the present, exploring how the notion of vampirism is inextricably linked with the emergence of what Michel Foucault has famously called `biopolitics' or 'bio-power'. Since the 18th century, institutions such as schools, clinics and prisons have exerted an increasing “hold over life” (Foucault), conditioning the ways in which we think and act. Why does the emergence of these modern institutions coincide precisely with the vampire's first appearance in European literature? Have the arts been defying the biopolitical hold over life by creating a vampiric aesthetics? We pursue these questions by engaging in a dialogue between literature, film, the natural sciences, and critical theory. Readings include canonical authors such as Goethe, Byron, Hoffmann, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Stoker, Tawada.

Course Notes: Readings and discussions in English. Open to freshmen with permission of the instructor.

Homer: The Odyssey
GREEK 115
David Elmer
2016 Spring
Mon/Wed/Fri, 01:00pm - 01:59pm
Class Number: 14913  Course ID: 112212

Description:Reading of substantial selections from the Odyssey with discussion of key themes and interpretive problems. Topics to be addressed include: narrative structure; oral poetics and folklore; self-referentiality; the Odyssey in relation to the Iliad; cultic dimensions.

 

Greek World Literature: From Homer to Kazantzakis, Cavafy, and Beyond
MODGRK 124
Panagiotis Roilos
2015 Fall
Tuesday, 01:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number:15037  Course ID: 112571

Description: The course focuses on examples of Greek world literature that had a great influence on authors across geographical and linguistic boundaries. Works and authors to be discussed include the Homeric epics, ancient Greek tragedy, C. P. Cavafy, N. Kazantzakis, G. Seferis, O. Elytis, G. Ritsos.

Course Notes: All texts will be available in English translation.

 

 

Back Roads to Far Places: Literature of Journey and Quest
HDS 2490
William A. Graham, Stephanie Paulsell
2016 Fall
Class Number: 10098  Course ID: 104279

Description: This course will explore the pervasive themes of journey and quest in world literature with particular attention to their religious dimensions. Through direct encounter with imaginative literary works from a variety of contexts and genres, we will consider the relationship between interior journeys and journeys through an external landscape, home and exile, and the religious and literary dimensions of literature itself. The course will focus on primary texts, with little required reading of secondary materials except in the preparation of a final paper. The lectures will explore important themes as well as supply contextual location for each week's text, discuss issues of genre, style, reception history, and key literary questions and concepts (e.g., myth, legend, epic, the novel, the Doppelgänger, allegories, composite narrative, oral formulaic composition, symbolism, scripture, Bildungsroman, haiku,  classic models). Emphasis throughout will be placed upon careful reading of the texts, which will include Tolkien's Hobbit, Gilgamesh, the Bible, Dante's Inferno, Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, Life of the Buddha, Hesse's Siddhartha, Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North, Endo's Deep River, McCarthy's The Road, and others. Jointly offered as Culture and Belief 32.

 

Indian Religions Through Their Narrative Literatures: The Epics
HDS 3405
Anne E. Monius
2017 Spring
Mon/Wed, 10:00am - 11:00am
Class Number: 10058  Course ID: 105033

Description: An examination of the religious traditions and communities of South Asia through the stories they tell. This semester's focus will be the epics-the Mahabharata and the Ramayana-in their numerous textual, regional, sectarian, and performative tellings.Jointly offered as Religion 1625

Class Notes: Course has additional section hour to be arranged.

 

 

African Religions
HDS 3690
Jacob Olupona
2016 Fall
Thursday, 04:00pm - 06:00pm
Class Number: 10021  Course ID: 129478

Description: This course is a basic introduction to the history and phenomenology of traditional religions of the African peoples. Using diverse methodological and theoretical approaches, the course will explore various forms of experiences and practices that provide a deep understanding and appreciation of the sacred meaning of African existence: myth, ritual arts, and symbols selected from West, East, Central, and Southern Africa.

 

Virgil: Aeneid
LATIN 106B
Richard Tarrant
2016 Spring
Mon/Wed/Fri, 11:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 14907  Course ID: 120309
Class Capacity: 30 

Description: Reading and discussion of Virgil's Aeneid, with attention to its place in the epic tradition and its status as a work of Augustan literature.

 

[Japanese Folk Religion: Conference Course]
JAPNHIST 117
Helen Hardacre
Likely to be offered in 2017 Fall
Course ID: 108235

Description: This conference course is an introduction to the study of Japanese folk religion, popular religious life carried on largely outside the frameworks of Buddhism, Shinto, and other religious institutions. The course aims to interrogate the idea of folk religion and its viability as a field of study within Japanese religions and within contemporary society. In its first half, the course examines the traditional rubrics and topics in the literature on Japanese folk religion. In the second half, the course turns to changes in folk religious life brought about through tourism and the appropriation of folk religious motifs by such contemporary media forms as animé and manga.

 

Shinto: Conference Course
JAPNHIST 126
Helen Hardacre
2016 Spring
Wednesday, 10:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 12681  Course ID: 120323

Description: An examination of Shinto, emphasizing its concepts of deity (kami), patterns of ritual and festival, shrines as religious and social institutions, political culture and interactions with party politics, and its contribution to contemporary youth culture.

Course Notes: General knowledge of Japanese history and religion is helpful. Japanese language is not required, but several meetings will be held for students able to use Japanese-language sources. Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3960.

 

Major Issues in the Study of Japanese Religions
JAPNHIST 214R
Helen Hardacre
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 10:00am - 11:59am
Class Number: 14686  Course ID: 159553
Class Capacity: 30  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: This seminar is primarily for graduate students preparing for research and teaching in Japanese religions.  Because it will have a different focus each time it is offered, students may take it more than once.  The topic for Fall 2015 will be ethnographic studies of Shinto.  Future offerings of the course will focus on such topics as shrine festivals (matsuri), religion in the Japanese empire, and Japanese new religious movements.  Most readings will be in English, but Japanese-language readings will also be included.

Topic: Ethnographic Studies of Shinto

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3961.

 

[Literary and Visual Narrative in the Persian Epic Tradition]
PERSIAN 152
Likely to be offered in 2017 Fall
Course ID: 107672

Description: Both poetry and the art of painting in medieval Persianate cultures developed to a high level of artistic excellence in the context of court patronage. This course examines that development through the epic tradition in medieval Persian poetry and prose including long narratives in heroic, romance, folk and ethical genres. The course considers the affinities and differences between these and epic tales from other traditions as well as their interactions with Persian painting and manuscript illustration. Beginning with the Parthian romance of Vis and Ramin and the heroic epic of Shahnameh, the survey will continue with epic romances of Nizami, prose narratives about folk heroes such as Abu Muslimnameh, and didactic epics by Sa`di and others.

Course Notes: The course lectures and readings will be in English but there will be a separate section for students with adequate knowledge of Persian to read the relevant texts in Persian.

 

Dreams and the Dreaming
RELIGION 1012A
Kimberley Patton
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 14891  Course ID: 115684

Description: Considers the dream as initiatory experience, metaphor for aboriginal time, gateway to the other world, venue for the divine guide, healing event, "royal road" to the unconscious, quest or journey, epistemological paradox, or omen of the personal or collective future. Theories of dreaming, the religious history of dream interpretation, and dreams in myth and ritual will be examined cross-culturally, including the theological and spiritual dimensions of human dreaming. Focus during the first semester is on ancient Greece, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; recent research on American dreams.

Class Notes: Additional hour to be arranged.

 

Dreams and the Dreaming
RELIGION 1012B
Kimberley Patton
2016 Spring
Wednesday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 14836  Course ID: 115685

Description: A continuation of Dreams and the Dreaming. We will evaluate current research in the psychology and neurobiology of dreams with respect to relevance for the religious and spiritual dimensions of human dreaming. Focus is on Eastern, Native American, and Australian aboriginal traditions.

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3315b. This course can be taken either as the second half of a year-long sequence, or as a single-semester, stand-alone course.

Class Notes: Additional hour to be arranged.

 

Twins and Twinship in Religion and Myth
RELIGION 1032
Kimberley Patton
2016 Spring
Thursday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 14837  Course ID: 127699
Class Capacity: 20  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: This comparative seminar interrogates the meaning of “doubling” a living being, and how this can be religiously, culturally, and mythically expressed. The birth of two children instead of one presents anomaly, in some traditions causing anxiety that can only be ritually resolved, or in others creating opportunity. Twins link worlds that single children cannot, or embody signs, auspicious or suspicious. How are "real" twins related to the divine twins of religion and myth, if they are at all?

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School 3310. Application only at the first class.

 

Ancient Greek Sanctuaries: Sacred Games
RELIGION 1330
Kimberley Patton
2015 Fall
Thursday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 14843  Course ID: 159709
Class Capacity: 15  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: Why were ancient Greek athletic competitions conducted as religious tradition and ritual observance? What was the relationship of the idealized Greek athlete to the Olympian world of the gods, and the chthonic, local world of the heroes? How were athletics related to political power and cultural memory? Exploring the four classical sanctuaries that were the sites of Panhellenic games (Olympic, Pythian [Delphi], Nemean, and Isthmian [Corinth]), as well as the Panathenaic Games in Athens, this course considers both archeological and literary evidence.

Course Notes: Enrollment limited to 15 with the permission of the instructor, by application at the first course meeting. Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3111.

 

The Politics of Storytelling
RELIGION 1920
Michael Jackson
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 10683  Course ID: 109925

Description: This course addresses Hannah Arendt's thesis that storytelling is a critical strategy for bridging the gap between private and public realms. Storytelling is thus understood as a mode of social and political activity that involves a struggle between personal and collective representations of the "truth" and between unofficial and official versions of events. Through the close analysis of storytelling in a variety of situations, we will explore the ways in which the meaning of stories resides not in any ahistorical essence or internal logic, but emerges from the everyday human struggle to strike a balance between domains of experience that are, on the one hand, felt to belong to oneself or one's own kind, and, on the other, felt to be shared by or to belong to others.

Course Notes: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3859.

 

Old Norse Language, Literature, and Culture: The Viking Legacy
SCAND 160A
Stephen Mitchell
2015 Fall
Wednesday, 12:00pm - 01:59pm
Location: Warren 102 (FAS)
Class Number: 12552  Course ID: 118050
Class Capacity: 12  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: Introduction to the language and literary culture of medieval Scandinavia, emphasizing works treating the Viking Age and their valorization of an heroic ideal. In addition to basic language skills, students acquire familiarity with key critical tools of the field. Readings include skaldic poetry, selections from Egils saga and the Vinland sagas, and various runic monuments.

 

Old Norse Language, Literature, and Culture: Mythology
SCAND 160BR
Stephen Mitchell
2016 Spring
Tuesday, 01:00pm - 02:59pm
Class Number: 12606  Course ID: 118051
Class Capacity: 12  Consent Required: Instructor

Description: Builds on Scandinavian 160a, continuing the language study and cultural survey of the first term, but now considers mythological texts relating to Viking religious life, mainly selections from the prose and poetic Eddas with particular attention to issues of magic and the scholarly tools and debates concerned with the interpretation of these cultural monuments.

 

 

 

Vampire Stories: Culture, Politics, Science
SLAVIC 162
Tomislav Longinovic
2016 Spring
Class Number: 15738  Course ID: 160502

Description: This course traces the figure of the vampire from its roots in Slavic folklore to the icon of contemporary popular culture.  Using innovative methodology of cultural translation, it provides students with in-depth analysis of the way vampire “travels” from its legendary Balkan homeland to the Hollywood studios.  Starting with medical and theological treatises on the first appearances of this undead revenant in c18, the course follows its transformation into a figure of Gothic literature during c19 and its domination of the horror genre in film and television during c20.  The focus of the course is on the way collective political anxieties are projected into this figure of popular culture over the ages.

Class Notes: Taught by Visiting Professor, Tomislav Z. Longinović.

 

[Sumerian Myths and Epics]
SUMERIAN 141
Piotr Steinkeller
Likely to be offered in 2017 Spring
Course ID: 113378

 

Seminar: Welsh Bardic Poetry
WELSH 227
Catherine McKenna
2016 Spring
Thursday, 02:00pm - 03:59pm
Class Number: 11913  Course ID: 111774

Description: Readings from the hengerdd, the beirdd y tywysogion and the beirdd yr uchelwyr; consideration of the social and political contexts of their poetry, its forms, and its relationship to other medieval European poetic traditions.

Recommended Prep: Knowledge of Welsh or permission of the instructor.